Ghana Air Force Inaugurates New Air Force Rank
The Ghana Air Force on Thursday inaugurated a new rank bringing new changes to the Service's uniform from the traditional blue braids to gold braids in commemoration of its 50th anniversary celebration held in Accra.
The ceremony, which was attended by senior and junior officers of the Ghana Armed Forces – the Air Force, Army and the Navy, also saw the presentation of about 16 golden jubilee commemorative medals to some personnel of the Airforce for their dedicated and meritorious services during the 50 year period.
Performing the inauguration, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lieutenant General Peter .A. Blay, said the inauguration of the new Air Force rank formed part of restructuring and modernisation process of the Ghana Armed Forces.
He noted that Armed Forces the world over were gradually and systematically undergoing spectacular changes in their operations and the Ghana Armed Forces could not be left out but needed to follow suit.
Lieutenant General Blay charged the officers to let the inauguration of the new rank and the presentation of the medals spurred them on to work efficiently and effectively for the service.
Air Vice Marshall Michael Samson–Oje, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), said in July 2010 he convened a board of officers to review certain aspects of the dress regulations in the Air Force.
“The Board asserted that the gold braids would make the ranks more visible, attractive and distinctive from the ranks of other paramilitary organisations,” he added.
“The change does not only affect the rank, but also where the new rank will be worn. This is specific to the service dress where the rank shall be worn on the shoulder instead of on the cuff. The obvious advantage is that the gentleman officer is easily and promptly identified as such.
“Hitherto the officer in a service dress could only be identified appropriately after a glance at the end of his or her sleeve. And believe me, where the sleeve is covered, identification becomes a problem unless he or she is a senior officer with a gorget on the collar”, he said.
Air Vice Samson-Oje said with the change, the Ghana Air Force had joined renowned Air Forces such as the US, India, Nigeria and Egypt whose officers also worn their ranks on the shoulders of their service dress. Medals were also presented to all personnel, who were in active service at the time the service was 50 years in 2009, and went past the half century mark in 2009.
The medal is embroidery of the aviation blue background with Airforce colours in vertical stripes. Attached to the embroidery is a brass medallion spotting the Ghana Air Force emblem.